Citizens Property Insurance Corporation – Florida’s insurer of last resort for property insurance – has reported that it added more than 25,000 policies in March.
By comparison, the insurer had 446,327 policies on March 31, 2020, and 569,868 policies on March 31, 2021.
As of March 31, the insurer has a total of 817,926 policies, up from 792,616 at the end of February, CBS Miami reported.
Policyholders began flocking to Citizens over the past two years due to mounting financial issues in the private insurance market. Major hurricanes have made it financially risky to provide insurance in Florida, which forced private insurers to either raise their rates significantly, drop renewals, withdraw from the market, or even file for bankruptcy due to the massive losses they sustained – all of which have forced customers to seek Citizens for coverage.
The limited insurance pool in Florida has also given way to increased litigation and fraud activity, putting further pressure on insurance costs.
News of Citizens’ policyholder surge comes after the insurer recently proposed to raise its rates by 11%. President and CEO Barry Gilway explained during a hearing over the proposal that the hike was necessary since the insurer took a $166 million underwriting loss last year and has been paying more in claims than it was earning.